Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014



Recently in class we have been discussing virginity and what it means to be a “virgin”.  In Jessica Valenti’s article The Cult of Virginity, she states that she could not find a medical definition for virginity, even in the Harvard library.  This left the class to try and define it ourselves, and while doing so I learned many other view points on this situation.  I have come to the conclusion myself that I will never truly understand what it means to be a “virgin”.  I have my own personal beliefs based on religion and family values.  It is amazing how while growing up sex and virginity seemed to be a very black and white subject, that was only lightly discussed as I was growing up.  I see now that this subject is very controversial and people should be aware of the many different view points; however, I still stand firm on my beliefs.

Also, in Valenti’s The Cult of Virginity, she talks about virginity in the media and how it is portrayed that it is “ideal” for men to want and to marry a “virgin”.  She uses Jessica Simpson as an example.  However, I had no idea Jessica Simpson was a virgin until reading this article.  I believe that the media belittles women by portraying them as images of sex images in music, movies, and television shows. Media seems to try and make sex more common and socially accepted than emphasizing being a “virgin”.  I think Jessica Simpson and others who openly admit to being a virgin set a very powerful example for children of younger generations.  Also, I believe those who admit to loving sex and being gay are also great examples for children, because children will accept them and love them all as they are.


2 thoughts on ““Virginity”

  1. Although, Jessica Simpson DID just have a child. I assume the story was outdated. Anyhow, this isn’t necessarily true. If one didn’t want to be viewed as a “sex symbol,” they could simply choose to avoid that type of publicity. Celebrities do it fairly often. You never seen certain female celebrities in the media’s eye, because they don’t live lives worthy of a cover spot. It isn’t so uncommon to be a “common” celebrity. Sex symbolism is a choice–your values or your fame. Which is more important? Not to mention, part of the problem with our society is the de-emphasis on contraception over abstinence. Our culture pushes sex onto its youth, and then expects them to remain pure as teens. We’re a contradictory society–which becomes confusing and often enough, leads to teens being utterly unprepared when they ARE having sex. Instead of sending mixed messages, we should be EDUCATING. Then perhaps there wouldn’t be such a taboo appeal to sex, and teenagers would be more aware in preventing pregnancy and venereal disease. I shouldn’t have to walk into a store and be degraded for buying condoms. Yes, I’m having sex. Yes, I’m being prepared. You should be applauding me, not staring down your nose at me. Why is there such a stigma against sexual activity in reality, and yet, there is so much of it happening in the media?

    • I agree with many things you say. I still believe the media creates women as sex symbols. It may be a choice for them, but in music videos, music alone, movies, and television shows many women are portrayed as sex symbols. Thus, making sex seem “normal”. However, I agree that sex in reality is looked down upon when someone admits to having sex or purchases condoms. I believe it is another double bind that is set up by society.

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